How to build a social media presence for your brand in 2019?
Social media has become a ‘business card’ for sellers’ brands. The developments of new retailing tools on social media enabled merchants to acquire new customers, solidify loyalty and secure sales.
According to The State of Social Media in Retail 2019 report by Hootsuite, the way consumers interact with brands is changing, and leading brands are already adapting to it. Consumers want to be treated as individuals, not demographics. They’re demanding more value in exchange for their time and information.
This report is based on a survey of 3,255 Hootsuite business customers from a variety of sectors and ranging from large enterprises to small agencies.
In recent months, consumers, regulators, and media observers have called into question the privacy, accuracy, and ethics of nearly every social network. The result: According to Edelman’s 2018 Trust Barometer Report, 60% of people no longer trust social media companies. Meanwhile, the Ponemon Institute, an independent research firm specialising in privacy and data protection, reports that trust in Facebook has dropped a “shock[ing]” 66%.
For sellers, this shift presents new challenges and opportunities. In an age of social scepticism, the rules of the game have changed. Users have grown distrustful of many media and celebrity influencers – whose followings – it turns out – are often bought or fake.
Include micro-influencers in your marketing strategy
Unlike well-known or celebrity influencers, micro-influencers have smaller, highly engaged social media audiences. Micro-influencers are more affordable for brands, are viewed as more trustworthy by consumers, and often drive better results.
One of the easiest ways to find micro-influencers is through a hashtag search on Twitter or Instagram. This will help sellers find people that influence their industry.
Start a secret group on Facebook
Public groups on Facebook are open to everyone. Closed groups can be found via search but require admin permission to join. Secret groups: invisible and unsearchable to the outside world.
For the right brands, secret groups can be an effective way to create an aura of exclusivity or intrigue, especially in the context of launches and special promotions.
Run monthly Facebook Live Q&As sessions around commonly asked questions
It’s important to communicate often, address problems proactively, and be as transparent as possible to keep customer trust. It makes sellers brand feel more human.
Facebook Live Q&As are a good place to start. It’s vital for sellers’ brand reputation to have authentic and real-time communication with shoppers, which is easy to manage and budget-friendly to run.
Activate employee advocates
Sellers should tap into the experts already on your team to share technical info and unique insights with shoppers.
Dedicated social employee advocacy tools can streamline the process of creating and amplifying social content.
Facebook’s own chief product officer Chris Cox shared a chart showing that Stories are set to surpass feeds as the primary way people share things with their friends within the next year. Nearly a billion users across WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat already turn to Stories to share.
Get creative with Story structure
Stories are easy to create and allow sellers to produce content quickly. Merchants should experiment with different structures to find what works best for their brand. For example, you can create tutorials showing people how to use your product, give a behind-the-scenes look at your company culture, host a takeover, or run a Q&A on topics that interest your customers.
The social media rules have swung back to society’s roots: real, personal, and authentic. Sellers who wish to reap the fruits of social media retailing should stay on top of the latest developments on the platform – as shoppers are ones who’re dictating the change.